The Samsung Galaxy S20 launch event will be on February 11, which is an official fact because Samsung itself sent out official invites to its next big Unpacked keynote.
We're expecting three smartphones in this year’s lineup, consisting of the main Samsung Galaxy S20 and a top-end S20 Ultra, and also the Galaxy S20 Plus, the latter of which we've given an individual page because there's so much there to cover.
We consider all three phones on this page, though, as new features are coming to all three – and all of them could end up being 5G phones. We know that because the next-in-line chipset, the Snapdragon 865, makes including a 5G modem mandatory. In other words, Samsung would seemingly have to go out of their way not to include connectivity to the next-gen mobile networks.
Originally, we expected this phone to be called the Galaxy S11 but most rumors are now pointing toward the company skipping S11 through S19 to go straight to S20.
There are also features we can work out might come to the Galaxy S11 or S20, from perks we expected but didn't see in the Samsung Galaxy S10 to aspects of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Samsung Galaxy A80, Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Fold that would work well in a new Galaxy S flagship.
Inspired by all these phones, we've also drawn up a list of the things we'd like to see in the Samsung Galaxy S20, or whatever the next Galaxy S phone ends up being called. We've also done a separate guide for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.
It may be introduced alongside the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, or Galaxy Bloom, or Galaxy Z Flip, as various different leaks have suggested Samsung's new foldable phone will be called.
Here's everything that we've heard about the Samsung Galaxy S20 so far, including the plenty of leaks we've seen.
Update: We've seen potential renders of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, the most premium of the range, which show off its rumored 48MP telephoto lens in a two-tone camera bump. Plus, we’ve got initial pricing – and the Ultra’s cost is looking steep.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next Galaxy S smartphone from Samsung
- When is it out? Tuesday, February 11
- What will it cost? Likely more than $899 / £799 / AU$1,349
Samsung Galaxy S20 release date and price
The Samsung Galaxy S11 launch date is locked in for Tuesday, February 11 in San Francisco. That's the same month and city venue as 2019's trio of Galaxy phones.
That means we could see the Galaxy S11 phones in stores the first week of March. For context, the Galaxy S10 release date was March 8, though this year's launch event is nine days sooner than last year's, so things may shift a bit.
The Galaxy S11 price could be the same as the S10 at $899 / £799 / AU$1,349 for its cheapest storage size, and all the way up to $1,149 / £999 / AU$1,699.
There's always a chance Samsung could price the Galaxy S11 to be more expensive though, indeed one leak suggests it might be a little more, with prices in euros rumored to start at €900-1,000 for the 5G version, with the 4G model apparently likely to start at around €100 euros less than that.
Another leak listed prices for all three models (conversions estimated by us): the S20 prices for 4G/5G versions conform to those above, while the Galaxy S20 Plus 5G seemingly starts at €1,099 (around $1,215 / £926 / AU$1,775). And the top-tier Samsung Galaxy Ultra 5G comes in at a whopping €1,349 (around $1,491 / £1,136 / AU$2,179) for the 128GB version, while the 512GB model could cost €1,549 (around $1,712 / £1,305 / AU$2,502).
The price in dollars is likely to be similar, with the price in pounds probably set to be slightly lower than that. Note however that with rumors of a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra at the top of the range, the base S11 / S20 is likely to essentially be the S11e in all but name, making these prices high if accurate.
Accompanying the launch of the Galaxy S11 might be new premium wireless earbuds to rival the Apple AirPods Pro called the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Given the original Galaxy Buds were introduced alongside the Galaxy S10, it makes sense that the new ones would come out with the next Samsung flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S20 name
While the Samsung Galaxy S11 is the most obvious name for Samsung's next flagship, coming as it does after the Samsung Galaxy S10, it's not the only possible one, with Samsung Galaxy S20 having also been rumored. This is reportedly done because the handset will come out in 2020, and Samsung wants the phone names to match with the years.
Specifically, according to few sources including a reliable leaker and possibly the Samsung CEO himself, we could get a Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, instead of the S11e, S11 and S11 Plus as we've been reporting on.
There's also no mention of a 5G model, though this is no surprise, as it's likely Samsung would include 5G in the standard models, much as it did with the 5G version of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, rather than making a unique 5G handset, as it did with the Galaxy S10 5G. Some later leaks have included 5G in the name – e.g. the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G – so it’s unclear whether each 5G-capable version will have it appended.
How about this for a rumor though: could the Galaxy S line be discontinued, and the Galaxy S11 never see the light of day? That's what one source suggests, that the S11 and Galaxy Note 11 will merge to create the Galaxy One, a new series that combines all Samsung's premium features into one smartphone.
Sure, we've heard that before about Samsung phones and it turned out to be wrong, but given the similarities between both ranges, it's not something we can totally rule out.
Samsung Galaxy S20 design and display
We’ve seen plenty of leaked renders of the Samsung Galaxy S11 or S20 series, and while there are variations between lots of them, they all are clearly variations on the same idea. You can see some here, others here, and even more here.
Nearly all renders point to the rear cameras being housed in a large bump in the top left of the back of the phone. The exact layout of them is unclear though, with some renders showing them in an organised row and others pointing to a more messy splattering.
Hands-on images of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, as it's called in the leak, make us think that the lenses and flash will be arranged in two rows in the camera bump, as that's what the pictures show. The chin under the display looks worryingly thick though.
A later leak with another screen cover reference model suggests the device will have thin bezels, though the leaker noted that the 'S11's "forehead" and "chin" are very optimistic', suggesting they could be thicker than the reference expects.
We've also heard that the Samsung Galaxy S11 could move the punch-hole camera to the top center of the screen, similar to the Galaxy Note 10 range, as we've since seen in leaked images. The source adds that the camera would be smaller than on the Note 10 range though. You can see how this might look in the images above and the one below.
The most enduring size rumor suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S20 (which could launch instead of the S11e) will have a 6.2-inch screen, the S20 Plus (or S11) will have a 6.7-inch one, and the S20 Ultra (S11 Plus) will have a 6.9-inch one. That’s a pretty sizeable increase on the previous generation.
In terms of materials, we'd expect the front and back to be Corning Gorilla Glass as most phones use, but while premium devices typically have an aluminium frame between, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra could have a top-end stainless steel frame. Currently only top-end iPhones and certain other handsets use this pricey and heavy material in their builds, so if true this shows the S20 Ultra is set to redefine 'premium' smartphone design.
As for the rest of the design, one thing we've heard is that the standard Galaxy S11 might come in blue, grey and black shades, while the Samsung Galaxy S11e might come in blue, grey and pink. The source doesn't say what colors to expect the Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus in though.
A later leak points to official colors: the S20 will come in Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, and Cloud Pink; the S20 Plus in Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey, and Cloud Blue; and the S20 Ultra in Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black. Interestingly, this leak also suggests the curved 3D edges typical of the S-line will be toned down to more subtle 2.5D angles.
These displays might have a 120Hz refresh rate, offering smoother interactions than the 60Hz found on the S10 range. That theory is mostly based on a 120Hz mode being spotted in a beta for Samsung's smartphone software. There's no guarantee the feature will arrive on the Galaxy S11 range, but it seems a likely candidate, especially as a source has now said as much.
A huge phone leak backed up the Galaxy S20 refresh rate and screen size rumors, adding the resolution of each would be 3200 x 1440. That would make the smallest device have technically the best pixel-per-inch count.
The S11 could also use a new screen tech, as Samsung has trademarked the name SAMOLED, which sounds like a new take on the AMOLED screens used by its phones, though we don't know how SAMOLED would differ.
Samsung Galaxy S20 camera
We’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S11 (or S20 Plus, but maybe not the ‘Lite’ S20 model) to come with a brand new 108MP sensor, as we’ve heard not one but two leaks suggesting that. This 108MP sensor used will apparently combine nine pixels into one, for 12MP shots that can take in a lot of light.
One source has pointed to a 5x optical zoom lens on the smartphone too, which we’ve heard could be 48MP, the most high-res sensor we’ve seen paired with a zoom lens so far. We’ve finally seen some leaked renders of the S20 line, and the camera bump is pointedly different between the S20 and S20 Plus models with an all-glossy block and the S20 Ultra, which has glossy on the top and a small matte section on the bottom housing the supposed 48MP telephoto – to spotlight it, we presume.
We haven’t heard much about other lenses but we’d expect an ultra-wide angle lens as well as possibly a depth sensor and maybe even a macro lens, as the recent Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite introduced the series’ first.
We've seen how the camera arrangement on the Galaxy S11 Plus (or Galaxy S20 Ultra) might look, and you can see this below. A more recent rumor from the same source suggests there will be a four-camera array on the rear of the Samsung Galaxy S11 and Galaxy S11 Plus (or S20 Plus and S20 Ultra)
Esteemed leaker IceUniverse previously claimed it would be a five camera setup, but says this new information is from a more recent prototype so they believe this to be the accurate details. That matches up with one of the most recent renders we've seen leaked, but so many different renders have leaked that we’ve no concrete idea at what the rear array will look like.
We have heard an incredibly detailed spec dump, when three sources simultaneously revealed information on the cameras, and it gives us a huge look at what to expect (if true). We'll detail it below.
|Camera||Samsung Galaxy S20||Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra|
We've added the selfie camera count to that list which came not from the aforementioned leak but a subsequent one. This latter leak echoed the camera specs with the addition of the selfie camera megapixel resolution.
Those are some pretty impressive specs if true, although it's curious the telephoto lenses are better on the smaller devices. We've heard a range of zooms cited for the telephoto lenses, but it seems to be 3x optical / 30x digital for the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus, and a whopping 10x optical / 100x digital for the S20 Ultra, although that seems too good to be true. We have heard quite a few 100x digital zoom leaks though, so who knows?
That latter spec could be wrong though, as we've also heard that all the devices will have 5x optical zoom. This comes from news that a company has been supplying this type of zoom lens to Samsung for the devices, and it's a slightly more plausible spec than 10x zoom.
We’ve heard loads of cool features trademarked by Samsung that could end up in the handset, from ‘Space Zoom’ astrophotography mode to the 'Bright Night Sensor', which sounds a lot like a low light mode but with dedicated hardware.
Samsung is also rumored to be putting the best optical image stabilization (OIS) of any phone in the Galaxy S10 Lite – and if it does, it's likely to also include the tech in the S11. That would make sense, as low light and especially night sky photos could benefit from longer exposures, which usually need either a tripod or decent OIS to prevent blur.
Elsewhere, mention of several new camera features has been found in official Samsung software. There's a Director's View mode for tracking a subject, Single Take Photo, which could use AI to automatically take photos at the optimal moment, the return of Samsung's Pro Video mode, allowing you to adjust the ISO, exposure and the like when shooting video, and some new Live Focus bokeh effects.
With regards to video recording, a rumor has suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S11 will support 8K video recording.
Samsung Galaxy S20 battery life
We've heard that the Samsung Galaxy S11 (or Galaxy S20 Plus, based on the new naming rumors) will come with a 4,500mAh battery – that's based on a photo shared by a certification website in Korea, so it seems legitimate, but you can never be totally certain. If this is true, the Galaxy S11 will have the same capacity as the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which should compensate for the new tech we're expecting to see in the device.
We've heard from another source that the Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus (or Galaxy S20 Ultra) will use a 5,000mAh battery, which would be the biggest used in a Galaxy S device. Another source has since backed up that 5,000mAh claim. This rumor makes sense, because it would be an expected step up between the S11 and S11 Plus, but we don't know for sure.
Plus, one rumor suggests the Galaxy S11e will have a larger battery than the Galaxy S10e, though again this could refer to the base Galaxy S20 in the suggested new naming conventions. We’d expect this, as new generations of handsets often bring upgrades like this, and one leak has suggested it'll be 4,000mAh.
An industry insider has suggested the reason the smartphones can use such big batteries is due to shrinking one part of the internals, a technique which the iPhone 12 could use too.
It also looks like Samsung is working on a battery health feature, which could tell you how worn out your S11's battery is.
Samsung Galaxy S20 specs and features
We’re pretty certain the Samsung Galaxy S11 will come with the Snapdragon 865 chipset unveiled in late 2019, which has been benchmarked with scores that beat any other phone. Well, it’ll have this processor in the US, but most other regions will likely get an upgraded Exynos processor, probably the 9830.
We've heard that the Samsung Galaxy S20 devices (as the leak suggests) will all come with a base 12GB RAM, although that could go up to 16GB or possibly even beyond. Who would need this RAM in a smartphone is beyond us, but it's indicative of the premium nature of the device.
A rumor also suggests the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the top-end device, will have 128GB / 256GB / 512GB storage options, with a slot for a microSD card that'll add another 1TB space. We don't know the options for the other devices, though.
All three Samsung Galaxy S20 / S11 phones are expected to be IP68 waterproof and dust resistant, according to one leak.
A more unlikely feature that the S11 could pack is a spectrometer, which could be used to determine the chemical composition of objects. Samsung has patented a phone-like device with just such a feature, so it's possible, but it sounds a bit far-fetched and niche.
We can also look to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 for some possible specs and features. The Galaxy S11 for example probably won't have a headphone port, since Samsung has ditched it for the latest Note. Similarly, it likely won't have a Bixby button.
However, by freeing up space that would have been used for a headphone port, Samsung could potentially make the battery bigger and/or the body thinner.
We could see the Galaxy S11 range launch without an in-screen fingerprint sensor, judging by the news that the upcoming Galaxy phone could use facial recognition unlocking tech instead. The iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4 have similar systems, where instead of using in-screen fingerprint sensors, they use facial recognition, and this is a rather secure form of unlocking (compared to Samsung's current photo-based facial recognition) but it's slower than using a fingerprint.
There’s also a leak suggesting Samsung phones will get an AirDrop-like service called Quick Share to easily swap files between nearby Galaxy phones. This could be extended to older Samsung phones with a software update, though it’s unclear if it will come to other Galaxy products (like the Tabs).
Samsung Galaxy S20: what we want to see
While early rumors have started to swirl, in reality there's still a long way to go before we see the Samsung Galaxy S11, which is good news as it gives Samsung plenty of time to take our suggestions on board.
So, listen up Samsung, here's what we want to see from the Galaxy S11. Please don't let us down.
1. Better camera specs
The Samsung Galaxy S10 has three rear cameras: the 12MP main sensor with a regular lens, the 12MP second sensor with a telephoto lens for distance shots, and the 16MP third sensor with an ultra-wide lens.
The three lenses are generally what we'd expect in a smartphone camera, but the resolution of each is a lot lower than in many other phones.
Handsets like the Honor 20 Pro have a 48MP main snapper, which is a big step up from 12MP, and even affordable handsets sometimes now come with four lenses (the extra is usually a time-of-flight or macro sensor for close-up shots), so to stay competitive in the smartphone camera game Samsung needs to up its game with the Galaxy S11.
We've heard that Samsung is working on a 64MP smartphone camera that could be put in the Samsung Galaxy S11 – if this is true, the new phone would blow its competitors out of the water.
2. A 3.5mm headphone jack
If you're scratching your head thinking "the Samsung Galaxy S10 does have a 3.5mm headphone jack", then you're right – but it may be the last of its kind.
Newer Galaxy smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy A80 have ditched the headphone jack, so it seems Samsung is following suit behind many other smartphone companies in getting rid of the physical headphone port.
But since many, many people still use non-Bluetooth earphones, it's a feature that we'd love to see return in future Samsung smartphones, especially given it's one of the only high-end smartphone manufacturers to still be using them.
3. Different front-facing camera arrangement
The Galaxy S10 was one of the first phones to have a 'punch-hole' front-facing camera, which means the front snapper was in a cut-out section inside the screen, in the corner.
In theory this is a useful feature that replaces the top notch, so you get more screen real estate – but in practice the punch-hole takes just as much space, as there's a sliver of screen between the camera and the edge that just isn't used.
Going forward, we'd like to see the Samsung Galaxy S11 take a different tack – Samsung itself has said it's planning to drop the punch-hole in favor of a camera under the screen, but that could still be a few Galaxy S phones down the line.
4. Greater battery capacity
The Galaxy S10 had a 3,400mAh battery – that's fine, but you've got no hope of that lasting more than a second day of use, especially if you use your phone a lot.
We'd hope the Samsung Galaxy S11 battery life would surpass that – it will definitely have to have a bigger capacity to cater for all the new tech the phone uses, but we'd like to see a serious improvement on the capacity, perhaps 4,000mAh or above.
5. More launch colors
The Galaxy S10 comes in a few colors, most commonly prism white and black – but we always love a vibrant design in a phone, and so far Samsung handsets have often seemed a little dull.
We're not asking for the crazy back patterns of a Huawei or Honor phone, but it would be nice for the Samsung Galaxy S11 to launch in a few different colors.
The Galaxy S10 has a few colors that are only available in certain regions, like yellow, green or red, but if Samsung made these designs available from the get-go in all regions, we'd appreciate the design a lot more.
6. Affordable 5G
We're expecting there to be a Samsung Galaxy S11 5G – there was a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, after all, and by the time the S11 launches 5G will be available in many countries.
However, the Galaxy S10 5G is even bigger than the Galaxy S10 Plus, and so is massive and expensive. Currently there are no affordable 5G smartphones on the horizon, but Samsung could really get ahead of the curve if the Galaxy S11, or Galaxy S11e, had a low price and ran on 5G networks.
- See what we think of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10